Better Billing Bulletin

Volume 28, March 2010

Franais


Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department (LSP) is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide you and your staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.


B3 Block Fees

Starting May 1st, 2010, LAO will pay lawyers block fees for the appropriate resolution of some of the most common and simple summary conviction charges.  The block fee will be a single, fixed fee for most of the lawyer’s work on an eligible case.  The block fee will replace the hourly tariff on these particular summary conviction charges.

The block fee initiative implements a key provision of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Criminal Lawyers Association, and LAO.



B3 Identify nature of court appearance in dockets

Please identify the nature of the court appearance in your detailed dockets to ensure the correct calculation of the tariff hours. Where subsequent pre-trial conferences are authorized, 2 hours additional preparation time is granted for each subsequent pre-trail conference in addition to the actual time spent in attendance.

Motions and attendances to speak to matters are not considered subsequent pre-trial conferences and do not generate additional preparation or attendance time. Neither do trial scheduling, trial audits, exit pre-trials or assignment court attendances.



B3 Late Billing Reduction Initiative

We currently receive on average 10 late billed accounts a day. Late billed accounts result in delayed or denied payment and are costly to process. We would like to reduce the number of late billed accounts. The Lawyer Service Centre will be contacting late billers over the next three months to ensure a greater understanding of the late billing rule and to support billing on time. If you are a late biller, please review our Late Billing Rule. The rule is being strictly enforced.



B3 Discretion Requests made simple!!

Should your account exceed the Tariff maximum and you would like LAO to consider paying the account billed with discretion, please complete and attach this Discretion Request Form together with your detailed dockets when submitting your account Online



B3 Discretion Review Requests made simple!!

If you are dissatisfied with the settlement of a discretion account, you may request a review within 60 days of payment by using the Discretion Review Form.



B3 Retroactive Discretion Requests made simple!!

If an account was settled at the Tariff maximum because you did not include a request for discretion with your account, you may submit a discretion request using the Retroactive Discretion Request Form. You must submit the form together with your detailed account for consideration of the outstanding balance within 60 days of settlement.



B3 Disbursement Requests made simple!!!

We’ve created Disbursement Forms for you to use when requesting disbursement authorizations for transcripts, translations, paternity tests and experts.   Please use these forms for disbursements that require authorization.



B3 For Speedy Payment, Attach Your Detailed Accounts Online

We are recommending you attach your detailed accounts Online each time you submit an account.  Attaching detailed accounts Online at the time you submit your account saves time and money. Attaching your detailed accounts Online will reduce the number of calls from us and help speed up your payment.

Detailed accounts are required whenever you request discretion and if you become subject to a random or targeted post-payment examination.

For support regarding attaching detailed accounts, contact the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934 or review Better Billing Bulletin Vol. 10.

Please ensure your detailed accounts conform to Legal Aid Tariff and Billing Handbook guidelines.



B3 Tariff & Billing Handbook

Consult our Handbook regularly for billing information.

 



Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the
Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934